Business/Tourist Visa

FAQ

Overview

The B-1/B-2 visitor visa is for persons desiring to enter the United States temporarily for business (B-1) or for pleasure or medical treatment (B-2). Generally, the B-1 visa is for travel to consult with business associates, to attend scientific, educational, professional or business conventions/conferences, to settle an estate or to negotiate a contract. The B-2 visa is for travel that is recreational in nature, including tourism, visits with friends or relatives, medical treatment and activities of a fraternal, social or service nature. Often, the B-1 and B-2 visas are combined and issued as one visa, the B-1/B-2.

Qualifications

B-1/B-2 applicants must demonstrate to a consular officer that they qualify for a U.S. visa in accordance with the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Section 214(b) of the INA presumes that every B-1/B-2 applicant is an intending immigrant; applicants must overcome this legal presumption by showing:

  • That the purpose of their trip is to enter the U.S. for a temporary visit, such as business, pleasure, or medical treatment;
  • That they plan to remain for a specific, limited period;
  • Evidence of funds to cover expenses in the United States ; and,
  • That they have a residence outside the U.S. as well as other binding social or economic ties that will ensure their return abroad at the end of the visit.

In addition to all of the documentation requirements explained above, the following documentation is also required, for persons seeking medical treatment in the U.S.:

  • Medical diagnosis from a local physician, explaining the nature of the ailment and the reason the applicant requires treatment in the United States.
  • Letter from a physician or medical facility in the United States, expressing a willingness to treat this specific ailment and detailing the projected length and cost of treatment (including doctors’ fees, hospitalization fees, and all medical-related expenses).
  • Statement of financial responsibility from the individuals or an organization that will pay for the patient’s transportation, medical and living expenses. The individuals guaranteeing payment of these expenses must provide proof of ability to do so, often in the form of bank or other statements of income/savings or certified copies of income tax returns.

Persons traveling to the U.S. for medical treatment should have a statement from a doctor or institution concerning proposed medical treatment.

B-1 visas may also be issued to personal or domestic employees in certain circumstances. For more information about the requirements for personal or domestic employee visas, please see click here.

B-1 visas may also be issued to crew members who work aboard vessels within the Outer Continental Shelf. For more information about the requirements for these visas, please see click here.

Other Information
  • The Department of State's Consular Affairs website has more information about B-1/B-2 visas.
  • Some foreign nationals may be ineligible for a U.S. visa, according to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The Consular Affairs website has more information here.
Application Items

Each applicant for a visitor visa must submit the following:

  • A Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) Form. Visit the DS-160 webpage for more information.
  • A passport valid for travel to the United States with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person is included in the passport, each person desiring a visa must submit an application.
  • One (1) 2x2 photograph.
  • A receipt showing payment of the non-refundable nonimmigrant visa application processing fee (the MRV fee) of US$160, paid in local currency. Please visit this page for information about paying this fee. If the visa is issued, there may be an additional visa issuance reciprocity fee, depending on the applicant's nationality. Please consult the Visa Reciprocity Tables to find out if you must pay a visa issuance reciprocity fee and what the fee amount is.

In addition to these items, every applicant must present an interview appointment letter confirming that they have booked an appointment through this service. Applicants may also bring whatever supporting documents they feel are necessary to support the information they are providing to the consular officer, for example  evidence which shows the purpose of the trip, intent to depart the United States, and arrangements made to cover the costs of the trip.   Those applicants who do not have sufficient funds to support themselves while in the U.S. must present convincing evidence that an interested person will provide support. Depending on individual circumstances, applicants may provide other documentation substantiating the trip's purpose and specifying the nature of binding obligations, such as family ties or employment, which would compel their return abroad.

Supporting documents are only one of many factors a consular officer will consider in your interview. Consular officers look at each application individually and consider professional, social, cultural and other factors. Consular officers may consider the applicant’s specific intentions, family situations, and long-range plans and prospects within his or her country of residence. Each case is examined individually and is accorded every consideration under the law.

Caution: Do not present false documents. Fraud or misrepresentation can result in permanent visa ineligibility. If confidentiality is of concern, the applicant should bring the documents to the Embassy in a sealed envelope. The Embassy will not make this information available to anyone and will respect the confidentiality of the information.

Supporting Documents
  • For students, please bring your latest school results, transcripts and degrees/diplomas. Also bring evidence of financial support such as monthly bank statements, fixed deposit slips, or other evidence. For working adults, please bring an employment letter from your employer and your most recent three months pay slips.
  • Business visitors and company directors should bring evidence of their position in the company and remuneration.
  • For parents applying for children under the age of 14, please bring your children’s birth certificates in addition to the basic requirements (see above).
  • Original documents are always preferred over photocopies.
  • If you are visiting a relative, carry photocopies of the relative’s proof of status e.g. Green Card, naturalisation certificate, valid visa etc.

Note: DO NOT fax, e-mail or mail any supporting documents to the Embassy. Applicants must hand-carry documentation to the Embassy for presentation to the consular officer during the interview.